McIlroy pleased with winning start

Rory McIlroy was happy with his start to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after opening the event with a win on Wednesday.

The Northern Irishman, champion in 2015, posted a 5 and 4 victory over Luke List in Group 4.

McIlroy, coming off a win at The Players Championship, talked up the importance of making a good start.

“I wanted to get off to a good start because I haven’t the last couple of years. And then your fate is not in your own hands. And it makes things a little more difficult,” he told a news conference.

“To get a good win under my belt was nice, especially in sort of tricky conditions as well. That’s a bit of a leveller right there, this afternoon.

“To play like I did was good and just looking forward to tomorrow.”

McIlroy led from the second hole against List, finishing his round with four birdies and two bogeys.

The 29-year-old four-time major champion, who takes on Justin Harding on Thursday, said the match-play format was challenging mentally.

“Mentally it’s a little more taxing than a four-round golf tournament just because you’re having to respond to what your opponent does every hole,” McIlroy said.

“So it’s a little bit different. I’m glad we play match play only once or twice a year.

“I think if we had to play it all the time mentally it would be a lot more difficult.”